I come from a faith tradition that held a high value on order. It looked like decorum...but it functioned more like control. Should a song go a little too long, a worshiper grow a bit too exuberant, or something else take place that might hint at some sort of display of emotion, I was trained to gently but firmly take control of the service and move things along.
I spent a lot of time in that tradition, even in a number of different streams of the church. I regret a lot of it. I can only think of one time when I stopped someone from doing something that I knew that I knew that I knew I was doing the right thing. Some guy decided to 'prophecy on the drums' even as some other person gave a message in tongues. I motioned to another musician to stop him. The musician freaked and pretended not to understand. I marched across the platform and yanked the sticks from his hands (he was prophesying with his eyes closed and didn't see me coming...). I then jammed the sticks in the hand of the other musician (who had failed to help me) and said "Keep these until I say different."
While I think I was right in that instant, there were probably a lot more times when I felt compelled to control things lest something breakout.
All that to say tonight was beautiful. It was our regular Friday night service. Mike was out so Wes Hall, one of our FSM instructors, was scheduled to teach. Justin Rizzo, who rocked the prayer room this morning, was leading worship. I couldn't point to how or when or what, but after about forty minutes of worship, within a thirty or sixty second span, the front of the church flooded with dancers. Not elderly blue haired ladies in Israel garb (not that there's anything wrong with that...) but spike haired, pierced, tattooed, flip flop wearing twenty somethings who by all rational thinking would probably have normally been out on the street causing trouble. But they weren't. They were dancing. And we let'm.
It went for two hours. Occassionally, Wes would give some specific direction for prayer. A few times, other leaders stepped forward to lead. The dancing would subside a bit and then rev back up. It was uncontrolled and primal and wonderful all at once.
Wes closed it by saying "If you're really wanting to go longer, the prayer room is five minutes down the road and it's open all night....". Big cheers. As we drove past on the way home, the parking lot was filling up.
I love this place. Dancers and all.